Monday, April 16, 2007

Have you ever had a lab accident?

Sunday, 10:30am.

Twenty minutes into heating a solution....voila, it was done!

There I was, with my lab coat on, closed-toed shoes (which rarely happens in Hawaii), behind the protection of a hood.

Thank goodness.

I took the solution off the hot plate and....

the bottom of the glass bottle remained on the hot plate, the top, still in my hand.

The lanthanum chloride in sodium cacodylate splashed everywhere. The hot plate is ruined.

"Do you know how to tell when you have acute cacodylate exposure?" asks Tina, our lab manager 10 minutes later when I call her.

"No..." (Oh crap, I forgot about the cacodylate, concentrating only on the effects of the rare-earth metal)

"You'll taste garlic".

Taste buds in check, I let out a sigh of a relief.

Boy, was I lucky. Serves me right for working on a Sunday.

Anyone else have any good work-related stories?


meg said...

First thing on a Monday morning, I hear someone say "Just stay down." I look over and there are two men standing behind a guy seated at one of our Internet computers. Not too sure what they're doing, I wonder if the seated guy is having some sort of "episode," having heard that our security guards dealt with 6 seizures in 6 weeks has me wondering if the guy is having one. Before I have time to call security or say anything to the other librarians, I see these two guys walking this guy out in handcuffs. One of the guys (an undercover, plainclothes officer)comes up to the desk, showing his big badge and gun, and lets us know that this guy is a sexual predator that they've been trying to find. They should have asked one of us -- even I, as a new librarian, had seen him every day in the library.

It's not the same sort of hot plate explosion, but another instance of volatile circumstances at work.

Caroline said...

Yah, I imagine you get all sorts walking through the library doors. Icky

Keith said...

Luckily I just work with materials that will give me cancer, no immediate acute effects to worry about. Christina knows to have my tumor autopsied and if they find a large amount of Se at its core, then she'll have a nice lawsuit to pursue.

Brian said...

I once splashed a drop (probably no more than 20 ul) of a highly concentrated nicotine solution in my eye while filling an osmotic pump. (When pulling the syring out of the port, the needle flicked ever so slightly in just the wrong direction.) It burned like hell, and I got a rush that felt like I had smoked 10 cigarettes at once--cold sweat, heart racing. Fortunately, I was not exactly nicotine-naive, so I knew what was happening and that it wouldn't last long. It was over in a few minutes.

Needless to say, I did not report it.